Audi’s Electromobility Boss: ” I Hate To Admit It, But Tesla Did Everything Right”

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 44

Audi R8 e-tron battery

Audi R8 e-tron battery

Audi's Dr. Stefan Niemand

Audi’s Dr. Stefan Niemand

Stefan Niemand, Audi’s head of electromobility, has come to the conclusion that the German automaker is now playing catch up to the U.S.’ only dedicated electric car manufacturer…Tesla.

At the Technical Congress of German automotive industry organization VDA, Niemand admitted that local manufacturers missed out on the chance to be first in the electric car segment, while at the same time praising Tesla for its vision. Quoting Niemand:

“We need awesome cars and a seamless infrastructure.”

“I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right.”

Additionally, Niemand, knocked on the efforts of most manufacturers who make low-range, low-performance electric cars:

“These cars are slower than those with conventional drive and they have a much lower range – and in compensation they are more expensive.”

Lastly, Niemand stated what most of us already know:

“Those who had ever driven electrically are lost for the internal combustion engine for all times.”

Once you’ve gone electric, you can never go back…

Source: EE Times

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44 responses to "Audi’s Electromobility Boss: ” I Hate To Admit It, But Tesla Did Everything Right”"

  1. Alain says:

    Knowing is have thé battle,let’s see if they
    Can do thé other half fast enough ,it s not to late.

  2. Antonius says:

    Especially funny to hear since Niemand translates as nobody 🙂

  3. Jouni Valkonen says:

    I wonder how long it will take that this biggest conspiracy pops? We could already have 100% electrified road transportation. Technology has been ready now already 10 years for 100% electrification.

    Meanwhile we have spent on 20 times overpriced oil just unimaginable amounts of money. the real production cost of cheap oil is around 5-6 dollars per barrel. But because cheap oil is mostly controlled by Saudi-Arabia, it can also control the price of oil.

    1. mr. M says:

      No. Tesla is using the cheapest battery tech available and yet their 90kWh Battery is still above 12.000$. You can buy a whole car for less!

      1. mr. M says:

        A new car. Not only used ones… See dacia as reference!

        1. Total says:

          Really? “Dacia” and “car” in same sentence?

    2. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

      I bet you also believe in that 500 MPG carburetor bulls**t, don’t you?

  4. KUD says:

    Hey Mary Barra did you see what Audi is saying after your Cadillac Chief left them?

    1. R.S. says:

      +1000

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      +100,000!

      (About the number of entire GM’s PEV program sold so far).

  5. SparkEV says:

    When he knocks on low cost EV, obviously he’s never heard of SparkEV (those Europeans!). SparkEV post subsidy is quicker than comparably priced gas cars. It’s even quicker than Audi A3 etron PH that cost $12K more (both MSRP comparison)

    SparkEV sells for as low as $19K in OR without subsidy. Search autotrader.com to see what I mean. With Fed subsidy, that can be as low as $12K. They lease for as low as $13/mo post subsidy in CA. Yes, thirteen US dollars a month for a car that’s quicker than $38,000 Audi hybrid.

    As for range, even Tesla doesn’t get range of $12K gas car, so what? It’s how often you run out of the range, and can you use fast charge for longer trips. In case of SparkEV, DCFC is definite yes, allowing almost 1000 miles a day. Which current Audi uses DCFC?

    Talk is cheap; let’s see some real products that address performance, cost, range, fast charging. I’ll eat this hat (made of chocolate) if they can produce anything like SparkEV.

    1. Fred says:

      Spark is a compliance car sold in a few states at a loss…

      1. Putradude says:

        On Chevrolet canadian web site, regular spark is shown at 11,945$ while the spark ev is shown at 34,295$.

        1. mhpr262 says:

          It is most likely still a loss, even at that price.

          1. Speculawyer says:

            I don’t know. Chevy & LG supposedly have batteries down to around $150/KWH and that thing only has a 21KWH battery in it. So that is only $3150 for the battery. And the rest of the EV components shouldn’t cost much more than the gas components in the gas version.

            They probably break even on it at worst.

            1. Josh says:

              That was a (future) purchase price for cells on Bolt, not pack costs. Totally different vehicle volumes. Totally different story.

          2. 500 miles says:

            No loss at all. never had . Anti-marketing B.S. only.

    2. R.S. says:

      There is something even better in Europe, called the Renault ZOE, which, in comparison to the Spark EV, sells in high quantities in almost every country that has Renault dealers. But Niemands the point is still true, automakers have focused on letting incentives pay as much of their car as possible, instead of looking whats the most viable option. Tesla has done everything right, not because they started with an expensive car, but because they tried to build an EV that makes sense for both the consumer and the manufacturer. Not with every manufacturer that outcome would be the Model S, but certainly not something like the Kia Soul EV, or the Ford Focus electric, not even the Spark EV, even though I agree its a great little car.

    3. Rick Danger says:

      Seriously, dude, give it a rest. The Spark EV is barely sold in only THREE STATES.
      Enough already.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        3 states plus Canada and South Korea.

        1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

          I live in Canada, and as best as I can tell, the Spark EV has never been for sale here.

    4. Model S says:

      Spark is a clown car. A design mess. No one wants it.

      I feel like throwing up every time I see one.

      1. Jychevyvolt says:

        Be quiet.

  6. Fred says:

    I like the article except for the blanket statement that EV drivers will never go back to an ICE.

    Due to the lack of EV choices and radically higher prices when we were deciding, we traded out LEAF for an ICE. Hope to get back into an EV when 200+ mile BEV options are available nationwide.

    1. james says:

      That’s point the, you are lost to ICE, it’s just that your (reasonable) choices are currently, petrol or diesel. As you said yourself, once there is a practical EV, at a reasonable price, back you go!

    2. Model S says:

      I would have (and I did) got a Volt over the Leaf in the first place.

      If you aren’t driving a Volt now I feel sorry for you!

  7. evcarnut says:

    The biggest Problem for traditional auto makers are the people running things.”THE 0LD WAY” Instead of being there for the general good, they are specifically there for their 0wn good ,and nothing else matters to them .It’s about Kissiny Up, brownie Points, profit , bonuses ,etc:..Building Senseless beat around the bush car designs like ie: hybrids, they just don’t/can’t Grasp things & let go of the ICE vehicle for the fear of losing Profit$$$. They can’t think like the ELECTRONICS PEOPLE THINK, THAT THE 1ST FEW ALWAYS COST MORE TO BUILD” Until they figure things out*..((just like Cell phone)) Traditional “ICE” makers will pay/face the Mounting consequences Later …Tesla/Musk are Sincerely in it for the “GOOD OF ALL” , Because Once you drive ELECTRIC…, You will understand , see , & realize that you will Not want to drive that Smoke bellowing ,Noisy loud, Gear Mashing “ICE” dinosaur Again!

  8. Bevo says:

    “I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right.”

    This quote says it all. The difference between folks like this clown and Elon is he WANTS other companies to be successful in terms of EV development. A rising tide lifts all boats, Dr. Niemand, and you will be successful in spite of your own self. Audi (and all the other car companies) are being ‘forced’ to develop better products, and they complain about it- how ironic is that??

    Translation: “Damn it! Were it not for Elon we could continue to drudge along with our polluting, inefficient model..”

    1. Dragon says:

      And they would’ve got away with it, too… If it weren’t for that DAMN Elon…

  9. pjwood1 says:

    To think they could have made a long range EV people wanted, instead of their much more expensive deception.

  10. scott franco says:

    The counterpoint argument was given in the Wall street journal, where they added up all of the government incentives that EV makers get, to illustrate why EVs are an artificial market.

    Theres no doubt that incentives kick started the market. The sooner EVs get beyond the need for support the better. I suspect the 4th generation (the one beyond the next crop of 50kWh cars) will do that.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      But there should always be some incentives for EVs, IMHO. Or a big carbon tax that doubles the price of gasoline. The pollution and climate change costs of gasoline cars needs to be paid.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        While I am certainly in favor of eliminating gasoline subsidies, to say that gasoline cars need to be heavily taxed to make up for their impact is a step too far, I think.

        Should we also heavily tax single-driver EVs as a method of forcing people over to more environmentally-conscious public transportation? After all, if we had more people using public transportation, then we’d have more-and-better options in that regard.

        Or should our concern for the environment begin and end exactly at the transportation methods that meet the needs of EV drivers?

    2. Nemo says:

      Gasoline cars have never come close to paying their own way, treating the atmosphere as their garbage dump.

    3. Dragon says:

      Ah, good old Rupert Murdoch Journal… Did they also make the argument that gasoline cars are an artificial market due to receiving far more subsidies than EVs enjoy? Of course not.

  11. Forever Green says:

    “I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right.”
    This would have been a big compliment if it came from a company who didn’t cheat and had some credibility.

  12. Bill Howland says:

    I don’t understand the saccarine sweet comments toward Tesla, – if he thinks EV’s are so great how ’bout making some cost-effective ones, or at least some game-changers.

    In any event, can we trade ELR prematurely cancelling – ev hating Caddy boss DeNyschen for this guy?

    If they did then at least we’d have some decent caddy ev’s to choose from. To my knowlege the CT6 ev is months away and they’ve already discontinued the ELR.

    So regardless of this guy’s ‘diplomacy’, he may be lieing through his teeth also, but at least he sounds better than the guy we are stuck with in NY.

    As far as parent VW goes, – they always brag they’re the world’s largest EV maker – coming out with 80 models or whathaveyou.

    So how about actually selling a car with 2 or 3 times the range of the E-Golf, for starters? Or come out with a decent PHEV which Chevy did 5 1/2 years ago.

  13. Speculawyer says:

    I wouldn’t say Tesla did EVERYTHING right. They have had some well-known mistakes . . . the two speed transmission, delays, over-budget, the overly complex falcon wing doors, the flaky door handles, the grinding noise in the motors, etc.

    However Tesla certainly has most things right. Including really great moves like: the Supercharger network, the low-center-of-gravity battery, the dual motor system with different gearing, over-the-air updates, autonomous driving features, GREAT aerodynamics, etc. They really have built better EVs than anyone else.

    1. Model S says:

      ZERO problems with my CPO Tesla after 6 months of ownership.

      The door handles will forever be badass

  14. Model S says:

    ” I Hate To Admit It, But Tesla Did Everything Right”

    “And we (Audi) are doing everything wrong”

    1. Just_chris says:

      It’s worse than that. This is just business spin on the following observation:

      With hindsight it is clear that tesla have made plenty of mistakes, however these mistakes pale into insignificance compared to the continued and persistent failure at all levels of the vw group.

  15. Richard Joash Tan says:

    Translation: “YOU ARE ALL BULLS**T!”

  16. Rick says:

    Nice to hear a competing exec say something positive instead of bashing Tesla.

  17. Jeff Songster says:

    SO… If he really believes that Tesla did everything right… He should be visiting Mr. Musk’s office daily until he gets a SuperCharger compatible powertrain that he can get 10k per month of to put into his cars. Announce them soon and deliver them ASAP. Stop bothering to reinvent the wheel and sell some great cars. Otherwise… we will all prove you right by buying Teslas and your companies will fade to complete irrelevance.